1 in 3 Couples Make This Serious Financial Mistake

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

KEY POINTS

  • One-third of couples don't discuss important financial topics until after getting married.
  • Couples need to be on the same page financially to avoid arguments.
  • Schedule regular money talks with your partner where you two go over financial challenges and goals.

Don't wait until after the honeymoon to start talking about money.

Money can be a stressful subject, and it often becomes a point of contention in relationships. Open communication is the best way for couples to avoid this, but unfortunately, research shows that many couples are making a serious mistake.

One in three couples say they waited until after marriage to discuss important financial topics, according to a recent survey by Western & Southern Financial Group. Here's why that's an issue and how couples can better communicate about personal finance.

Why you shouldn't wait to talk about money with your partner

Finances are a huge part of people's lives. If you're in a relationship, the way you and your partner manage money affects the both of you. For couples to avoid arguing about money, both partners need to be on the same page about important financial topics, such as spending habits, how much to save, and goals.

Some people prefer to keep their finances private, and that's normal. But once a relationship gets serious and you're planning a life with the other person, you two should start opening up about money. This way, you can see where your financial values align and if there are any potential problems. These aren't signs the relationship is doomed, but they are things you'll need to resolve.

Our Picks for the Best High-Yield Savings Accounts of 2024

APY
4.25%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. 4.25% annual percentage yield as of July 23, 2024
Min. to earn
$1
APY
5.25%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. To ensure you keep getting the highest rate at UFB, you'll need to keep an eye on their rates. Occasionally, the bank launches new accounts with higher rates. Existing accounts need to contact the bank to request being moved to one of these new accounts.
Min. to earn
$0
APY
5.31%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. 5.31% annual percentage yield (APY) is accurate as of 7/11/2024 and subject to change at the Bank’s discretion. Minimum deposit required to open an account is $500 and a minimum balance of $0.01 is required to earn the advertised APY.
Min. to earn
$500 to open, $0.01 for max APY

Many couples wait far too long to have these conversations. Over 60% waited until after getting engaged just to talk about spending habits or debt, and over half of couples waited until after getting married to discuss:

And as mentioned above, one-third of couples didn't talk about important financial topics at all until after their wedding. That's a huge commitment to make without knowing whether someone has, say, $25,000 in credit card debt.

How to have financial conversations as couple

It's not hard to guess why so many couples postpone important financial conversations. Talking about money can feel awkward and uncomfortable, especially when you're not used to it.

The first thing to understand is that it gets easier the more that you do it. That's one reason why you should schedule regular money talks. Another reason is that by setting aside a day and time to do this, you ensure that you're not only discussing money when there's a problem. If your only conversations about money are negative, you're going to dread them, and that's what you don't want.

Here are some questions to discuss during these money talks:

  • What are our current financial challenges? These could be things like living paycheck to paycheck or paying off debt.
  • What are our short-term financial goals? These are goals you want to accomplish in anywhere from a few months to a few years, such as saving for a vacation or building an emergency fund.
  • What are our long-term financial goals? These are normally goals you want to accomplish in five to 10 years or longer, such as saving a down payment for a home or retirement.
  • What steps are we going to take to improve our financial situation? You may commit to saving and investing specific amounts every month, putting a certain amount toward debt, or increasing your credit scores.

It's important to keep these talks positive and fun. Now, you might be wondering how exactly talking about finances is supposed to be fun, but it's doable if you follow a few tips.

First, don't judge or criticize each other. You and your partner may have very different backgrounds and financial values. If you're both understanding, it's much easier to be open and to compromise on issues.

To make these conversations more fun, talk about the real-life benefits of the moves you're going to make. There's nothing inherently exciting about deciding to save an extra $250 per month. But there is about saving money that you're going to use for a well-earned vacation at the end of the year.

Couples who fight about money often do so because they're not communicating enough. When you and your partner talk about money regularly, it helps you avoid that, and it also brings you closer. You'll be able to fix money problems and work toward goals together, and that will make you feel like more of a team.

Alert: our top-rated cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2025

This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee! Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow